Within the Promise of Crashing Waves.
Someone once shared with me his ‘philosophy on life’, that we may only be truly happy when we embrace the reality of who we are.
“Stop helping others formulate their opinion,” he’d say. “Let them see. Let them breathe you in – and let them discover.”
I was in my twenties at the time; brimming with a confidence that could topple on a hair’s trigger. I worried over the impression of my appearance and the perceived ‘value’ of my accomplishments. At times, it felt as if my mind couldn’t rest – as it struggled to engage measures of outward encouragements.
In spite of my success, I felt empty and discouraged. So I tried harder, pushing forward into an even deeper state of unsettledness.
“You must be so exhausted,” I remember him saying. We’d been driving for hours, pulling off to rest along an old mountain road. In the distance, the shorelines of the Pacific stretched into the horizon. “Close your eyes and listen,” he said. “Really listen…”
At first, it was all just noise – crashing waves interspersed with an increasingly raucous inner dialogue. Like the static between radio channels – bits and pieces, but never the wholeness of one or all.
As the minutes passed, I grew more and more agitated. Until I finally heard it – an unexpected ‘gasp’ of brilliance; a pod of grey whales moving south for the winter.
“Spectacular, isn’t it?” he smiled, leaning in.
It was literally the sound of whales ‘breathing in’. The world fell silent around me, as my own breath slowed to match. In that moment, everything came to life. The scent of saturated cedar soils, the chase of squirrels and black-tailed deer. And the particles of air lifting their sound closer still – I could feel those swirling around me, too.
All predicated through the crashing waves, a softness of breath and a promise of better days.